COVID-19: Litter stops here as the threat of Omicron destroys the sacred tradition

All sports tournaments and related trips will be canceled throughout the province until at least January 31st

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The new public health regulations will put an end to the dreams of thousands of underage hockey players preparing for the intense holiday season of BC tournaments, and for some to have a chance to look for more opportunities.

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All sporting tournaments and related trips have been canceled throughout the province until at least January 31 as part of the new restrictions announced on Friday to curb the rise of the Omicron variant.

At the sixth Pat Quinn Classic, which is due to take place on 27-31. Until December, 53 teams participated with 742 children from across western Canada and Texas, California and Alaska.

The top sellers of the colleges and NHLs, who were looking for talent in the UAA teams of the U15 and U13 age groups and the AAA teams in the same age groups, are also expected to attend the sold-out tournament.

“It’s a big disappointment for the kids.” said Tourism Burnaby and Sport Burnaby CEO Chris Peter.

“For many, this is the first tournament they could have participated in, and for U15 it may be the last chance to participate at the elite level before moving on.”

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That would have been Pat Quinn’s sixth classic. The organizers canceled last year’s tournament year, but hoped for something different this year.

“It seems to me that we could have created a very safe environment. We started our safety plan back in April and we had unforeseen spectators, spectators, parents, parents and vaccines, but we don’t want to endanger anyone’s life,” Peters said.

With new public health orders arriving just a week before the tournament, organizers are trying to reimburse teams and figure out how to cover production costs of more than $ 100,000, Peters said.

The tournament receives more than $ 100,000 in direct funding from Burnaby Tourism, as well as sponsors such as the Burnaby Firefighters Association in addition to the participants’ fees.

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The repeal will affect Burnaby’s economy.

“The tournament earns about 1,800 hotel stays, in addition to well over 2,000 short-term rentals, and Burnaby is reaping more than $ 500,000 in economic benefits,” said Peters.

Scenes from Burnaby 8 Rinks on Sunday as hockey tournaments and other events are canceled or reduced as the Omicron variant continues to spread.
Scenes from Burnaby 8 Rinks on Sunday as hockey tournaments and other events are canceled or reduced as the Omicron variant continues to spread. Photo by NICK PROCAYLO /PNG

Peters said the only “silver lining” has been the support of parents, organizers and the community. “We hope to come back bigger and better in 2022.”

The North Delta U11 Winter Classic Tournament was scheduled for March 26-31. December, but has been omitted for the second year in a row. Organizers were expecting 480 children from 32 teams across the Lower Continent. The U7-U9 tournament is also missing.

“We are really disappointed with the players and volunteers who put a lot of effort into planning the tournament, but we fully support the decision and understand why it was made,” said Bryan Chow, the organizer of the North Delta tournament.

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“Given the growing number of cases, we knew there was an opportunity,” Chow said.

Chow said the children’s mood was “devastated, but they are trying to stay positive”.

“We were grateful we played,” Chow said.

The Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association has canceled two upcoming holiday tournaments, the Winter Roundup 27-29. December for the U7 and U11 age groups, then the Hometown Heroes for the U13 and U15 age groups from December 30 to January 2, with about 50 teams competing. Tournaments in Port Coquitlam, New Westminster and Chilliwack have also been canceled.

For a complete list of BC’s smaller hockey tournaments, including cancellations, visit BChockey.net.

dryan@postmedia.com

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